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Family of victim newly connected to Gilgo Beach serial killer remember loving daughter who will ‘never be forgotten’


She held childhood photos of her murdered daughter but couldn’t speak about the grisly crime, not even after 20 years.

After prosecutors linked Jessica Taylor’s death to accused Long Island serial killer Rex Heuermann on Thursday, the victim’s still-heartbroken mother, Elizabeth Baczkiel, left it up to her lawyer to deliver her emotional tribute.

“Jessica, my darling daughter, you will never be forgotten,” attorney Gloria Allred read from the parent’s moving statement outside a Suffolk County courthouse. “You will always be missed! You will forever be in our hearts.”

Jessica Taylors' mother, Elizabeth Baczkiel, left, listens as attorney Gloria Allred, right, reads her statement during a news conference in Riverhead, N.Y., Thursday, June 6, 2024. Rex Heuermann, previously accused of killing four women and leaving their corpses scattered along a coastal highway, was charged Thursday, in the deaths of two more, Taylor and Sandra Costil, after prosecutors said they gathered new DNA evidence and found a computer document he had used to "blueprint" his crimes. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Jessica Taylors’ mother, Elizabeth Baczkiel, left, listens as attorney Gloria Allred, right, reads her statement during a news conference in Riverhead, N.Y. on Thursday. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

In a new indictment released Thursday, prosecutors said Taylor, 20, and another victim, 28-year-old Sandra Costilla, were killed by Heuermann. He was previously charged with the deaths of four sex workers whose remains were found near one another along a stretch of Ocean Parkway known as Gilgo Beach between late fall 2010 and early spring 2011.

Taylor and Costilla also represent the first victims tied to Heuermann whose remains were discovered elsewhere than along Ocean Parkway, expanding the area in which he allegedly dumped bodies by more than 40 miles.

Authorities said Taylor, a sex worker, died between July 21 and July 26, 2003. Costilla was murdered between Nov. 19 and 20, 1993, according to the indictment.

The words Baczkiel’s lawyer read said nothing about a sex worker.

Instead, the narrative focused on the little girl who liked riding her bike, playing Monopoly, and cuddling with her mother and her two brothers.

FILE - This photo provided by John Ray Law on July 14, 2023, shows Jessica Taylor, whose remains were found decades ago along on a highway along Gilgo Beach, on New York's Long Island. Rex Heuermann, previously accused of killing four women and leaving their corpses scattered along a coastal highway, was charged Thursday, June 6, 2024, in the deaths of two more, Taylor and Sandra Costil, after prosecutors said they gathered new DNA evidence and found a computer document he had used to "blueprint" his crimes. (John Ray Law via AP, File)
This photo provided by John Ray Law on July 14, 2023 shows Jessica Taylor. (John Ray Law via AP, File)

“They would pile on the couch and watch TV,”  Baczkiel said in the statement. “I miss how she called me ‘Mommy’ and ‘Mama.’ It is a tragedy she never had children. Jessica would have made a great mother. She loved kids and loved working with them. She worked in the inner city with the kids in summer camp as an aide. She loved supporting kids and helping take care of them.”

Before Taylor’s body was discovered decapitated, with her head and body in another location, Costilla had been dead 10 years, authorities said.

The remains of Costilla, a native of Trinidad and Tobago, were found in a wooded area in Southampton by a pair of hunters. Hairs recovered from her body were genetically linked to Heuermann, prosecutors said.

The connection drastically expanded the timeline during which prosecutors believe Heuermann committed his crimes. Investigators had long associated Costilla’s death with a different suspect.

Unlike the other victims in the case, officials have never described her as a sex worker.

Costilla lived on Gates Ave. in Ridgewood, Queens, until around 1992, police previously said. She also lived in an apartment in Flushing, Queens, according to property records.

Taylor, meanwhile, grew up in Poughkeepsie and lived in New York City before she disappeared. She was last seen alive at the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

“When I think of her, I see her smile first, big and bright, lighting up her face, beaming through her beautiful eyes,” Taylor’s cousin Jasmine Robinson said.

“Jess was somebody that I looked up to. She was a force, one of the strongest women that I know, with a heart of gold. She was and still is loved immeasurably. When her life was stolen, a light went out. She is forever missed.”

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